The short visit to this goat farm in Tarlac happened during the second day of the Tara Quing Tarlac tour. I didn’t set expectations on what to see on the farm aside from goats, plainly as that. JSJ Goat Farm is located in Barangay Caturay, Gerona, Tarlac and owned by the couple Jeffrey and Kathleen Lim.
We were welcomed by Mr. Lim while he was instructing his team to prepare the goats for the milking process. The goats were so eager to go to the milking area considering that the milk already replete their udders. From the barns, a herd continues to the station through the connecting bridges. JSJ Goat Farm maintains the course of milking the goats early in the morning, on a daily basis.
The goats were secured on the milk stand and were given some hay to eat while a staff of the farm hand-milked about two squirts from each teat. According to Mr Lim, this is being done to check for abnormalities and eliminate any milk close to the surface of the teat that is more likely to be contaminated with dirt. The teat cups of the machine were placed on the goat’s udder and the machine was turned on. We clearly saw how the milk began to flow through the tubing to the container.
To embody the farming experience, some members of the group were invited to manually milk the goats. The staff explained the proper way of squeezing the goat’s teat. First step is to tightly wrap the base of the teat using your thumb and forefinger to trap the milk inside the teat. Next is to squeeze with your middle finger, then ring finger, and pinky, in one smooth, successive motion.
After the demonstration, we were led to the barns where goats are being fed on some hay. JSJ Goat Farm utilizes the full confinement system of goat breeding with the housing elevated from the ground. This was a product of the owner’s extensive research to build the perfect goat house considering different factors such as weather condition, average temperature, and type of goat management.
The farm began in June 2001 as a hobby with the family having less than 10 goats. In 2005, they started to import goats from Australia and now breed Boer, Anglo Nubian, Saanen and British Alpines goats. Now, they already have around 300 goats and sheep in the 10 hectare farm.
Next part of the farm tour was the much awaited taste test of their dairy products. We were given the 200ml bottles of their brand Aussie Pure Goat’s Milk in plain and chocolate flavor. The smooth and a little sweet milk is perfect with a hot pandesal filled in with their cheese products; Goat Cheese in Oil (Feta), kesong puti, and classic Chevre. The owner also gave us some creamy pastillas before we finally left the place.
I didn’t expect so much prior to the farm visit but I enjoyed the activities we have tried as well as the knowledge I’ve acquired on that morning. I grew up in the province and having this kind of environment is not strange for me. But the opportunity to observe the process on how milk (as one of the primary food source) is being produced, it was a different and delightful experience.
* Farm tour in JSJ Goat Farm was part of Tara Quing Tarlac (Tara sa Tarlac) tour initiated by Microtel Luisita and Tarlac Convention and Visitors Bureau held last February 27 to March 1, 2014.